Plants withstand adverse environmental effects by stress responses governed by a complex multilayer regulatory network. Besides well established transcriptional cascades posttranscriptional modifications give more plasticity to the plant's behavior under unfavorable circumstances. These modifications include various RNA alterations typically interlaced with transcriptional or translational regulation. Recent examples have been described in RNA splicing, processing, translation and degradation, some of which operate through effects of small non-coding RNAs. So far details of physiological output mechanisms affected by RNA regulation have been uncovered in a few cases only, some of those will be detailed in this review. In the well documented example of the nuclear cap binding complex (nCBC) mutants, molecular mechanisms of the regulatory switch and downstream events have been established in detail. New results directly link nCBC function to splicing, RNA processing and abscisic acid (ABA). Potential output mechanisms of this control point have also been implicated, both in fast stress responses and in developmental regulation. This latter aspect provides a new insight into how RNA regulation may contribute to acclimation by facilitating drought tolerant morphology. Recent results pinpoint the importance of cuticular structure in acclimation to drought stress at high water potential (Ψ).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science